“Know More” about “No More”

“Know More” about “No more.”

In the New Heaven and New Earth there will be a lot of “no mores.” And it is encouraging to us to know more about these no mores. For example, in Heaven there will be

1. “no more curse” (Rev. 22:3).
2. “no more sea” (Rev. 21:1).
3. “no more death nor crying” (Rev. 21:4).
4. “no more pain” (Rev. 21:4).

In this new dwelling place there will be

1. No more hurting, hospitals, or hospice.
2. No more sorrow, sickness, or suffering.
3. No more problems, persecution, or prejudice.
4. No more borrowing, bills, or bankruptcies.
5. No more burdens, bruises, or beatings.
6. No more divorce, dissention, or division.
7. No more ruin, rot, or rust.
8. No more disease, death, or decay.
9. No more breakups, breakdowns, or breakouts.
10. No more begging, badgering, or betrayals.
11. No more disappointments, disadvantages, or distrust.
12. No more pollen, pollution, or poisons.
13. No more faults, frowns, or failures.
14. No more politicians, police, or paramedics.
15. No more recession, depression, or oppression.
16. No more lying, sighing, or crying.
17. No more deceit, defeat, or conceit.
18. No more devastation, frustration, or separation.

On and on and on the list could go. What this means is that: Every stain of sin, every evidence of evil, every indication of iniquity, every type of transgression, every way of wickedness, every means of misconduct, every word of wrong, every cause of crime, every clue of corruption, every notion of naughtiness, every inkling of indecency, every dab of disbelief, every suggestion of suspicion, every hint of hypocrisy, every trace of trespass, every insinuation of injustice, every impression of impurity, every reason for rejection, every inference of indignation, every occasion of offence, every sign of Satan, every device of demons, and every thought of temptation will be totally, completely, and permanently gone forever.

For those who like the country, it is a better country (Heb. 11:16). For those who favor the city, it is a heavenly city (Heb. 11:10). For those who like to eat, it will be a feast (Matt. 8:11, NIV). For those who like to live in nice places, it will be a mansion (John 14:2). For those who are burdened, it will be Paradise (Rev. 2:7). For those who miss their friends and love ones who have died, it will be a reunion (1 Thess. 4:13-18). For all of the saved it will be an eternity with God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. In short, it will be “Home, Sweet Home.” I remember a song entitled “Ole Rivers.” In the song Walter Brennen said:

“One of these days I’m gonna climb that mountain,
Walk up there among them clouds,
Where the cotton’s high and the corn’s a-growing
And they ain’t no fields to plow.”

I have always liked that song. Of course, I would say:

“One of these days I’m going to drink of that fountain,
When I move up there above them clouds,
Where my kinfolks are nigh, and Christ is glowing
And there are no sorrows now.”

This is what Heaven means to me. It is faultless, flawless, and fadeless. It is preserved and reserved for those who trust in Jesus to get them there. Peter put it this way in 1 Peter 1:3-5:

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 

This article is a section of my book: Heaven: Where Few are Many.
Order your copy directly from me at 256-624-6024 or waynedunaway@gmail.com! Special price: $10 plus shipping.

Wayne Dunaway
https://gandpministries.wordpress.com/

There’s Just Something About That Name! The Great “I AM.”

There’s Just Something About That Name! The great “I AM!”

Jesus Christ is the great “I AM” (John 8:58). It is important to understand that God’s name is “I AM.” When the children of Israel ask, “What is His name?” Moses was to reply “I AM who I AM” (Exodus 3:13-14). God said, “This is my name forever, and this is my memorial to all generations” (Exodus 3:15). The reason people need to remember and be reminded of this name is that God is in the present. God is in the here and now. He is not in the past. He is not in the future. He is in the present.

Why is knowing this Name so important to them and us? Because it will help us live in the here and now. Today is all I have, all I need, and all I can handle.

At times we fret over the past. We would all like to go back and live at least part of our lives again. There are mistakes we have made that we would like to correct. There are things we did not do that we would like to get done. We have a tendency to dig up bones – exhuming things that are better left alone. We resurrect memories of a life that is dead and gone. (Remember the song, by Randy Travis? Was it, Digging Up Bones?) Some think, in my past I have:

(1) Messed up in a marriage.
(2) Got hooked on drugs/alcohol etc.
(3) Shacked up for a while/had many one night stands.
(4) Lied, stolen, and mistreated others.
(5) Did things I can’t believe I did.
(6) Said things, thought things, and did things that were shameful, sinful, and sometimes just downright stupid.
(7) Left undone things that I should have done, and wasted a lot of my life serving Satan.
(8) Believed things that were not true. Taught things that were not true and therefore practiced things in religion that were not right.
(9) Mistreated, misled, and missed time with my children.
(10) Disobeyed and ignored my parents, and took advantage of my friends.
(11) The list just goes on and on…and on!

But God says, “Don’t go there!” I’m not in the past. My name is not “I was,” but “I AM.” I am the Lamb and the Great I AM. I have taken care of the (your) past. In Jeremiah 31:31ff, God said, “Their sins…..I will remember no more.” If you read Acts 26, I Timothy, and Philippians 3, you’ll see that Paul regretted many things in his past. But he said, “One thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind……I press toward the goal…..” (Phil. 3:13-14). It is good to learn from the past, but not live in it. His name is “I AM” not I “was.”

At other times we fear the future. We also wonder and worry what is going to happen in the future? What’s next? But God says, “Don’t go there!” My name is “I AM,” not “I will be.” He is not only the Lamb who covers the past, He is also the Lord who controls the future. He knows “from eternity…..all His works” (Acts 15:18). He “works all things according to the counsel of His will” (Eph. 1:11). He says, “Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” (Matt. 6:34, NIV).

We need to live one day at a time. Life by the mile is a trial, by the yard it is hard, but by the inch it is a cinch. Since Jesus has come we can say, “This is the day the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it” (Psalm 118:24). God said remember my name for all generations now and forever (Exodus 3:15). It is “I AM.” Don’t fret over the past – I am the Lamb. Don’t fear the future – I am the Lord. And don’t forget that I dwell in the present – I am the great “I AM.” Thank God for Jesus! (2 Cor. 9:15).

Wayne

Read the entire outline here: The Lord…the Lamb…the Great I AM!
https://waynesblogsite.wordpress.com/2015/05/04/the-lord-the-lamb-the-great-i-am/

From Gazing…to Grazing…to Praising

“From Gazing…to Grazing…to Praising”
A Sermon Outline from Daniel Four

Introduction:

1. In this chapter is recorded a confession that King Nebuchadnezzar made after he had been insane for about seven years (Dan. 4:1-3).
2. Nebuchadnezzar dreamed a dream which made him troubled and fearful. (Dan. 4:4-5).
3. He called for his wise men to make known the interpretation of the dream, but they could not do it. They had probably learned their lesson from the events recorded in chapter two, and therefore they knew better than to make up a lie to tell the king. (Dan. 4:6-7).
4. At last, Daniel came in and the king told him the dream. The dream concerns a tree that was cut down — leaving only a stump. The title of this chapter could very well be “The Tragedy of a Tree” (Dan. 4:8-9).

I. THE TREE (Dan. 4:10-17).

A. In the dream the king saw a tree. From the king’s description we learn that:

1. The tree was in the middle of the earth (4:10).
2. The king saw the tree growing (4:11).
3. The tree was strong and so high that it reached to heaven (4:11).
4. The tree was visible to all the earth (4:11).
5. The leaves were fair, the fruit much, and it served as a source of food for all (4:12).
6. The animals camped under it, the fowls lodged in its branches, and all were fed from it (4:12).
7. An angel came down from heaven and commanded that the tree be cut down. The tree was to be destroyed leaving only the stump and roots. (4:13-15).
8. The angel further commanded that some man would be given a beast’s heart for seven years, in order that he might be taught that the God of heaven rules in the kingdom of men (4:16-17).

B. This was the dream that Nebuchadnezzar had concerning the tree. Daniel was then to interpret the dream.

II. THE TRAGEDY (Dan. 4:18-27).

A. After being stunned (so to speak) for one hour, because he evidently thought well of the king, Daniel told the king that the dream would please his enemies, because it was exactly what they would want to happen (4:18-19).
B. After repeating part of the dream, Daniel told Nebuchadnezzar that he was the one represented by the tree. The size and position of the tree represented the world-ruling dominion of the King of Babylon (4:20-22).
C. Daniel further explains that the cutting down of the tree meant tragedy for the king. He would loose his sanity, he would dwell with the beasts, eat grass like an ox, not have sense enough to come in at night or get out of the rain, and he would remain insane for seven years. It seems to me that the seven times means seven years, because in order for his fingernails and toenails to grow as long as they did, it would take a considerable amount of time (Dan. 4:33). This was to occur in order to show the king that the God of heaven rules in the kingdom of men and gives it to whomever He pleases. Bear in mind that the Babylonians thought that when they defeated Judah and brought them captive to Babylon, that that proved their gods were stronger than Israel’s God. (Dan. 4:23-25).
D. Daniel further explained that the leaving of the stump indicated that Nebuchadnezzar’s kingdom would not be taken over by another and after seven years it would be returned to him (4:26).
E. The dream that Nebuchadnezzar had concerning the tree meant tragedy for him.

III. THE TREATMENT (Dan. 4:28-37).

A. All that Daniel predicted came upon Nebuchadnezzar about twelve months later. As the king was walking in the palace telling himself how great, honorable, and powerful he was, he heard a voice from heaven repeating the thing that Daniel had said about a year earlier concerning his insanity (Dan. 4:28-32).
B. The same hour the king lost his mind. He went completely insane—he was driven from humans, he ate grass like an ox, did not have sense enough to come in out of the rain or in at night, his hair grew long as also did his fingernails and toenails. He was evidently a horrible looking creature who was completely mad (Dan. 4:33). One minute he is gazing…and the next minute he is grazing.
C. At the end of seven years, Nebuchadnezzar’s sanity returned to him and he exalted the God of heaven. God’s treatment had worked, and Nebuchadnezzar admitted that God does rule in the kingdoms of men (4:34-36).
D. Nebuchadnezzar praised and honored the God of heaven because he had learned that God is the “King of heaven, all whose works are truth and His ways justice. And those who walk in pride He is able to put down” (4:37).
E. The treatment that God gave Nebuchadnezzar evidently cured him of his pride and he wanted all people to know the “signs and wonders that the Most High God has worked for me” (Dan. 4:2). He went from gazing (4:29-30) to grazing (4:33) to praising (4:37).

NOTE: SOME THINGS TO SEE FROM THE DREAM ABOUT THE TREE.

As we observe the tree, the tragedy, and then the treatment that Nebuchadnezzar received we should learn some very valuable lessons that should help us today (Rom. 15:4). For example, we should see the Lord’s

A. Power.
1. The theme of the dream is that “the Most High rules in the kingdom of men and gives it to whomsoever He will” (Dan. 4:17, 25, 26, 32).
2. He does according to His will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and no one can restrain His hand, or say unto Him, what have You done? (4:35). See also Dan. 2:21; 5:26; Rev. 1:5; Rev. 4).

B. Patience.
1. The Lord gave the king twelve months to change and do better with the assurance that there “Perhaps there may be a lengthening of your prosperity” (4:27-28).
2. The Lord gave Jezebel “time to repent” but she repented not (Rev. 2:20-21).
3. He is also patient with us (2 Peter 3:9).

C. Pity.
1. The Lord had pity on the king. The kingdom was not taken from the king permanently (Dan. 4:26).
2. One lesson Jonah learned was that God has pity on all (Jonah 4).
3. Again and again we read how Jesus was “moved with compassion” (Matt. 9:36; 14:14, etc.).

D. Punishment.
1. The thing that the Lord said was fulfilled and the king was driven from among men (Dan. 4:33).
2. Our God is a consuming fire to the wicked (Heb. 12:29).
3. We need to behold the goodness and severity of God (Rom. 11:22).

E. Pardon.
1. The Lord was willing to pardon the king if he would change (4:27). He did re-establish the king in his kingdom (Dan. 4:36).
2. He pardoned the entire city of Nineveh (Jonah 3).
3. He is a “God ready to pardon, gracious and merciful, slow to anger and of great kindness” (Neh. 9:17).

NOTE: WE SHOULD ALSO LEARN SOME THINGS ABOUT:

A. Pride.
1. One of the main lessons in chapter four is that “those that walk in pride He is able to put down” (4:37).
2. Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall (Prov. 16:18).
3. God will not only “resist” the proud, sometimes he will “dismiss” the proud (James 4:6; Dan. 4).

B. Preaching.
1. It is not always easy to preach the truth. Daniel was troubled because of what he had to tell the king (Dan. 4:19).
2. It is not easy to “reprove and rebuke” but sometimes it is necessary (2 Tim. 4:1-2).
3. We must always preach to please God, not men (Gal. 1:10).

C. Praise.
1. The king praised God for what God had done for him and so should we (Dan. 4:37).
2. The king went from gazing to grazing to praising.
3. The church began by “praising God” and we need to make sure we keep it up (Acts 2:47; Eph. 3:21).

CONCLUSION:

These lessons from THE TRAGEDY OF A TREE…can be helpful to you and helpful to me. Let’s make sure that we take them to heart. Thank God for Jesus! (2 Cor. 9:15).

Wayne Dunaway
gandpministries.wordpress.com

Successful Sinners and Suffering Saints

SUCCESSFUL SINNERS AND SUFFERING SAINTS

Introduction: Psalm 73

1. It is interesting to note that Psalm 73 and Psalm 37 both deal with basically the same theme. Both deal with envying evil doers. (It might help us to remember this by observing that when you turn the number 37 around it is 73.)
2. The problem of why bad things happen to good people has haunted man since the beginning of time. And the reverse is also true, why do good things happen to bad people?
3. The book of Job is probably the oldest book in the Bible and this is the problem that Job’s three friends could not understand. (See Job 4:7-8 & 8:6).
4. In fact, Job himself struggled with this problem. Observe what Job said in chapter 21:7-15, “Why do the wicked live and become old, yes, become mighty in power? Their descendants are established with them in their sight, and their offspring before their eyes. Their houses are safe from fear, neither is the rod of God upon them. Their bull breeds without failure; their cow calves without miscarriage. They send forth   their little ones like a flock, and their children dance. They sing to the tambourine and harp, and rejoice to the sound of the flute. They spend their days in wealth, and in a moment go down to the grave. Yet they say to God, ‘Depart from us, for we do not desire  the knowledge of Your ways. Who is the Almighty, that we should serve Him? And what profit do we have if we pray to Him?’
5. Solomon said, “I have seen everything in my days of vanity: There is a just man who perishesin his righteousness, and there is a wicked man who prolongs life in his wickedness.” (Ecc. 7:15).
6. So the problem of “Successful Sinners and Suffering Saints” is a problem that we all face from time to time.
7. In Psalm 73 God uses a saint named Asaph to help us have the proper perspective in considering this age old problem.
8. In this study we will observe:

I. HIS CONVICTION
II. HIS CONFESSION
III. HIS CONDITION
I. HIS CONVICTION

1. In the first verse we have Asaph’s conviction. Conviction means “the state of being convinced.” His conviction is that God is good to His people. Regardless of how it may seem otherwise, God is good “to such as are pure in heart.” (Ps. 73:1).
2. We teach our children to pray, “God is great. God is good.”
3. God is too loving to be mean. God is too powerful to be manipulated. And God is too wise to be mistaken.
4. According to Psalm 100, we should “be thankful to Him, and bless His name. For the Lord is good: His mercy is everlasting, and His truth endures to all generations.” (Ps. 100:4-5).
5. God is good, yes He is, He’s good all the time. God is good, yes He is, and we must all keep this in mind.

II. HIS CONFESSION

1. First, he talks about the Boastful (vs. 2-9). Then he talks about the Believer (vs. 10-21). Then he talks about the Beast (vs. 22).
2. He confesses that he had almost fallen. He had almost slipped away.
3. Then he tells why. “For I was envious of the boastful…
4. When he thought about the boastful, or wicked, he almost let it get to him. It looked as though they had it made. He saw their:
a. Prosperity. “I saw the prosperity of the wicked.” (vs. 3).
b. Painlessness. “For there are no pains in their death…” (vs. 4).
c. Peacefulness. “They are not in trouble as other men…” (vs. 5).
d. Pride. “Therefore pride serves as their necklace..” (vs. 6).
e. Plentifulness. “They have more than the heart could wish” (vs. 7).
f. Perversion. “They make fun of others and speak evil; proudly they speak of hurting others.” (vs. 8, NCV).
g. Profanity. “They set their mouth against the heavens..” (vs. 9).
4. He also saw the problems that the people of God were having and how they wondered whether or not God knew what was going on. (vs. 10-12).
5. He even wondered whether or not it pays to do the right thing. (vs. 13-14).
6. When he sought to understand this it was “too painful” for him. (vs. 15-16).
7. He had this problem “until” he went into the “sanctuary of God” and “understood their end” (vs. 17).
8. He knew that, in the end, they would be “utterly consumed with terrors” and “brought to desolation, as in a moment”. (vs. 19-20)
9. A good illustration of this is the parable that Jesus told about the “Rich Fool,” who seemingly had it made, but died in a moment and without warning. (Lk. 12:16-21).
10. The psalmist further confesses that he had been “foolish and ignorant” when he had felt and thought the way he did. He admits that he had been like a “beast” in thinking as he had thought. (Note: A beast is only concerned with the here and now.)
11. When the wicked seem prosperous in spite of their sin, do like this psalmist and think about their end.

III. HIS CONDITION.

1. After thinking about his foolishness, he then starts thinking about his condition as a believer.
2. In doing so he thinks about:

a. His Favor. “I am continually with you, you hold me…guide me… (vs. 23-24a).
b. His Future. “And afterward receive me to glory” (vs. 24b).
c. His Father. “Whom have I in heaven but You, and none upon earth that I desire besides You” (vs. 25).
d. His Faith. “But God is the strength of my heart…I have put my trust in the Lord God. (vs. 26-28).
3.  If we ever find ourselves in this envying position, it is then that we should think about our spiritual condition.

CONCLUSION: In this study we have observed at least one solution to the problem of envying wicked people when good things are happening to them. It is a problem that we all have probably had at one time or another. And if we haven’t, we probably will. However, many of us might not be honest enough to admit it. But Asaph did admit it, and we can profit by considering what he had to say. And remembering what we have learned from Psalm 73 can help us, and can help us to help others. It’s all about having the proper perspective. It is all about how we look at things and what we focus on. Paul wrote, “Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things that are seen are temporary, but the things that are not seen are eternal” (2 Cor. 4:16-18). Thank God for Jesus! (2 Cor. 9:15).

Wayne Dunaway
https://gandpministries.wordpress.com/

Sleeping With The Enemy

SLEEPING WITH THE ENEMY

According to Wikipedia: Sleeping with the Enemy is a 1991psychological thriller film based on a 1987 novel of the same name by Nancy Price, starring Julia Roberts, who escapes from her abusive, obsessive husband, played by Patrick Bergin. She captures the attention of a kindly gentleman, played by Kevin Anderson.

Having never seen the movie, I really can’t say a lot about it. But I do know what it is like to “sleep with the enemy.” Of course I am not talking about sleeping with my wife, but I am talking about struggling in my life. I am not referring to a loving companion, but I am referring to a lasting conflict. Most of us have heard the popular quote: “We have met the enemy and he is us.” Or, perhaps, “I am my own worst enemy.” The Bible clearly teaches that we “sleep with the enemy,” “he is us,” and, at times, “we are our own worst enemy.” Paul put it this way: “For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find” (Rom. 7:18). The disciple of Christ is engaged each day in a battle. The enemy is Satan (Eph. 6:12; 1 Pet. 5:8). The devil is powerful and his influence can be seen in all aspects of human life. He is able to accuse and destroy those who yield to him in his destructive temptations. We must be diligent to keep our spiritual defenses up, standing strong in the power of the Lord (Eph. 6:10), for the devil is clearly out to destroy us (Lk.22:31).

The reason the devil is able to affect us so negatively, however, is not due to his great power. God has already promised that Christ in us is a greater power than any outside force that comes against us (1 Jn. 4:4). Satan cannot overcome the child of God who is born from above and is walking after the Spirit rather than the flesh. But Satan can certainly influence Christians. Why? The devil has influence over us at times because there is a part of us—the self-nature —that is so much like him and therefore is an easy target. It is that part of us that Paul calls the “sinful flesh” (Rom.8:3, KJV) or “sinful nature” (Rom.8:5, NIV). The apostle tells us plainly that “nothing good” dwells within the flesh. We are our own worst enemy at times. Were it not for the evil in our own heart, we would not listen to someone like the devil. We would be so full of God at all times that Satan would have no power at all in our lives.

But we must come to grips with the fact that our greatest spiritual war is with ourselves. And there is no escape, for as long as we are in the physical body, the fleshly/sinful nature will haunt us. We cannot eliminate the flesh any more than we can stop being human. This is the cold, hard reality that is true of everyone, even believers. Paul said it this way: “For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do” (Gal. 5:17, ESV).

Where then is there hope? In Jesus Christ, and in Him alone! “Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (Rom 7:24-25, NIV). Because of the accomplishments of Christ, God lives within us. His nature is different from ours. Therefore, our success in overcoming “the enemy within” will always depend on how much of our life is yielded to Him.

Since all of us “sleep with the enemy” within, we need a “wake up call” from God. Read Ephesians 5:14-18: “This is why it is said, “Awake O sleeper, rise from the dead and Christ will give you light.” So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise. Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days. Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do. Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit…”

In other words, wake up and beware that you are “sleeping with the enemy,” and remember that God always provides a “wake up call” to those who will listen. Thank God for Jesus! (2 Cor. 9:15).

Wayne Dunaway
https://gandpministries.wordpress.com

What Is Your Life?

WHAT IS YOUR LIFE?

Introduction: James 4:17

1. This is a good question and a Bible question.
2. Observe that James says, whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.
3. As to Duration on earth: This very text says it is a “little time”.
4. As to Destination: That depends on what you believe.
5. As to Explanation: That is what this lesson is all about.
6. The Bible records a lot about life as well a lot about faith. Understanding what it says about life should help us with our faith. Sometimes we get discouraged and our faith weakens because we misunderstand what life on this planet is all about.
7. In this study we will observe three things about life, namely,

A. THE ADVENTURE
B. THE ADVERSITY
C. THE ADVANTAGE

I. THE ADVENTURE

1. Life is an adventure. The word “Adventure” means “an undertaking usually involving danger and unknown risks”; or “an exciting and remarkable experience”
2. Sometimes we feel stressed and at other times we feel blessed, and there seems never to be any complete rest. Most of the time we are stressed and blessed at the same time.
3. And we are all familiar with this lifestyle because it this is the way we all live.
4. Just to let you know how familiar we are with being “stressed out” complete the following sentences:

a. I am ready to throw in the ____________.
b. I am at the end of my ________________ .
c. I am just a bundle of _________________.
d. My life is falling_____________________.
e. I am at my wit’s_____________________.
f. I am about to come un_______________ .
` g. I feel like resigning the human_________.
h. Nobody knows the _____________ I see.
i. Walk a mile in my ________________.

5. The Bible puts it this way when it comes to life, “Do not boast about tomorrow, For you do not know what a day may bring forth” (Prov. 27:1)
6. James says, “Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit’; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away” (James 4:13-14).
7. Life is filled with “unknown risks” and is a “remarkable experience”. An “adventure” (if you know what I mean).
8. We sing about it: “Life is filled with swift transition, naught of earth unmoved can stand”.
9. We move from one stage of life to another and each stage is an adventure all its own. Illustration: Grandma Ain’t What She Used To Be.
10. We keep thinking that the next stage is the one. This will be when everything comes together and then life will stable and everything secure. But it never happens for any us. We never know for sure what’s coming or when!

II. THE ADVERSITY

1. Life is also full of adversity. On one occasion, Jesus said, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things” (Lk. 10:41).
2. As Job said, life is of “few days and full of trouble” (Job 14:1).
3. According to the King James Version, Paul was “troubled on every side” (II Cor. 4:8).
4. Jesus Himself said, “In the world you will have tribulation…” (Jn. 16:33).
5. Problems are here and they are here to stay. Our adversary is going to make sure that we have adversity (I Peter 5:8).
6. Satan wants to “sift” us, not “lift” us. “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat” could just as easily read “Brother/Sister! Satan has asked…that he may sift you…” (Lk. 22:31).
7. When Paul was in Ephesus there were “many adversaries” (I Cor. 16:8-9).
8. Jesus told His disciples they would have “tribulation” (Jn. 16:33).
9. Remember that it was one of His closest female friends who was “ worried and troubled about many things” (Lk. 10:41).
10. In the “Sermon on the Mount” Jesus warned “Each day has enough trouble of it’s own.” (Matt. 6:34; NIV)
11. “Even folks on a gravy train get lumps”. I said “Even folks on a gravy train get lumps”. No matter what you do or what you say, there are some bad things going to come your way, because “Even folks on a gravy train get lumps”. No matter what you say or what you do, there are some bad things going to happen to you, because “Even folks on a gravy train get lumps”.
12. Life is filled with adversity. Into every life some rain must fall and problems are common to us all.
13. Jesus Himself is described in the Bible as “A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.” (Isa. 53:3)

III. THE ADVANTAGES

1. While it is true that life is an adventure, and life is filled with adversity, it is also true that Christian have tremendous advantages.
2. When I think about the word “advantage”, I think about words like benefit,
gain, edge, or upper hand.
3. Christians do indeed have benefits and advantages in life that are not
available to those who are outside the body of Christ.
4. For example, consider the following promises:

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (Ps. 46:1).

“Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” (I Pet. 5:7)

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Phil. 4:13)

“Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. (Romans 8:37).

“He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” (I Jn. 5:4)
“The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.” (Ps. 23:1)

“The Lord is my helper and I will not fear what man shall do unto me”
(Heb. 13:6).

“That He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be
strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man” (Eph. 3:16)

CONCLUSION: In this session we have observed how that life is an adventure, it is filled with adversity, and how Christians have a tremendous advantage. Thank God for Jesus! (2 Cor. 9:15).

Wayne Dunaway
gandpministries.org

Sermon on the Mount: Guilty, Guiltless,Grateful, and Guided!

THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT!
Guilty, Guiltless, Grateful, and Guided!

When I read the Sermon on the Mount I am both overwhelmed and overjoyed. I am overwhelmed with the demands of the law and I am overjoyed that Jesus met those demands on my behalf. Reading the sermon truly helps me to “Thank God for Jesus.” I am glad that He “fulfilled the law” (Matt. 5:17-18), because there is just too much “law” here for me to fill completely full. I do not read and seek to follow the principles taught here in order to be saved because I am already saved by faith in the sacrifice of Jesus. I do read it in order follow the principles to be blessed. The sermon is about how to be successful…not a code of rules for being saved. The Sermon on the Mount is designed to teach us how to be a “light”…not how to “get right.” It is designed to teach us how to be salt…not how to be “saved.” If we are trying to be saved by keeping all of the principles in this sermon at all times we can hang it up now. See Matthew 5:48. But Jesus did that “for us” so that He could live it out “in us” based on our degree of faith, dedication, and understanding (Col. 1:27-28; Gal. 2:20). This sermon teaches us how to build our lives on a “rock solid” foundation. (Matt. 7:24-27). Remember this: Acts 2 teaches how to be saved (and it’s all about Jesus and turning to Him)… while Matthew 5-7 teaches us how be salt (or how to serve Jesus in His kingdom). Jesus came that we might have “life” more abundantly. And this sermon teaches us the principles for the abundant life. (Jn. 10:10). The principles taught here have always true and are the ideal principles to seek to live by. Thank God for Jesus! (2 Cor. 9:15).

To summarize:

I am Overwhelmed — I am rendered powerless. There are just too many things here for me to completely and/or consistently live up to. I am completely defeated when I realize how many demands are made and how weak and sinful I really am. (Rom. 7:24; 1 Tim. 1:15; 1 Jn. 1:8).

I am Overjoyed. I am extremely joyful. I am happy and glad. I am blessed indeed…with all I need. Jesus came to “fulfill” the law. He came to get it “all right” so that I could be made “alright.” He came to do the “will” of God perfectly and completely…and He did! (Heb. 10:5ff). And the great news is that His righteousness is imputed…or placed in my account (2 Cor. 5:21; Phil. 3:9; 1 Cor. 1:30-31). I am completely justified…because He was tried, crucified, and glorified.

My heart Overflows. I am filled with appreciation, confidence, and assurance. I have an inspired plan for success. I know the right way to live. I know the right way to treat others. I know how to serve others. I know how to build on a solid foundation that will last. I am blessed indeed…with the principles I need to prosper and prevail. All in one sermon!

I am guilty because I do not live up to all of principles in the sermon on all occasions and at all times. I am guiltless because of what Jesus had accomplished for me. I am grateful beyond words to Jesus for my salvation. I am guided by the principles He has taught me in this sermon. Thank God for Jesus! (2 Cor. 9:15).

Wayne

A related article: What is Jesus Correcting in the Sermon on the Mount?
https://waynesblogsite.wordpress.com/2016/06/03/what-is-jesus-correcting-in-the-sermon-on-the-mount/